Rebels commit punter

Tyler headed into his junior season as the preseason top rated punter in the state of Arkansas. He met all expectations as he was averaging over 46 yards a punt but then everything got turned upside down.

"I tore my ACL during the 4th game," added Tyler Campbell. "Everyone knows at my position that scholarships are tight on the D1 level, so that was not the time to go tearing my ACL (laugh)."

Most special teams players will go to specialty camps during the summer after their junior seasons but Tyler took a different route.

"I just decided to go to Ole Miss' and Arkansas' camps. I went on unofficial visits to Tulsa and Vandy too, but I had been going to the Arkansas camps since Coach Nutt was there and then he left to Ole Miss, so I decided to go over there."

Campbell's kicking coach, Ken Turner, got the ball rolling with the Ole Miss staff.

Tyler Campbell
"He kept my name in their ear while I was hurt. They invited me down to Jr Day, so I went down there in March. It was the first time I had seen the campus. I was use to Arkansas', so I did not know what to expect. But when I got down there, I saw how much nicer it was than Arkansas' and the facilities were just as nice. I did not expect that. That got me real interested in Ole Miss. Then I talked to Coach Shibest at Jr Day, and I got to know him and Coach Jay Jones a lot better and I really liked them."

The Rebels have had problems in the punting department for the last two years so the new staff was looking to fill a void in the upcoming class.

"Coach Shibest wanted me to come back down there for their Sr camp to evaluate me. They said they were looking to sign one punter and one kicker in their class, so I headed down there.

The 6' 3", 215 pound Catholic standout did enough at the senior camp to earn a spot on the roster.

"Coaches Shibest, Ealy, and Jones went out there and they watched me punt. They were impressed. I guess they talked to Coach Nutt before I went into his office. Coach Nutt promised me a scholarship even though he said they did not have one open right then."

A couple weeks later, the scholarship was formally extended.

"They called my coach and he told me on August 13th that I had a scholarship. I went to Arkansas' camp the week before, but they said they wanted to see me punt my senior season before making a final call. Ole Miss jumped on me. I knew they had confidence in me so I went ahead and committed to them. I called Coach Shibest, and then I called Coach Nutt to let him know. He said I just solved a big headache for him. Coach Nutt was glad to hear the news."

Tyler is built more like a linebacker than a punter, so power is not a problem.

"I usually kick it so long, I outkick my coverage. Coach Shibest wants me to get the ball up higher on my foot so the coverage guys can get down there."

The Arkansas Gazette had this to say about Tyler's leg and recruitment

Campbell, 6-2, 217 said he was punting from the goal line in the Vaught-Hemingway stadium and one of the balls hit an unsuspecting coach.

“The O-line coach (Mike Markuson) was 75 yards away and I hit him in the back in the air,” he said. “I was at the goal line and he was on the 25 (yard line) on the other side of the field.”

While impressive, the punt wasn’t Campbell’s best.

“This off-season I kicked one that rolled 107 yards,” Campbell said. “I was underneath the goal post and it rolled into the other end zone.”

For now, Campbell is just looking forward to playing a complete season.

"I had a lot of expectations put on me last year. I was the preseason 1st Team All-State selection at punter and then I tear my ACL. I was pretty upset about it, but now I am out to prove that I am still the state's best."

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